England v Austria: Get on goals in Euro 2020 warm-up at the Riverside
England kick-off their Euro 2020 preparations on Wednesday when Paul Higham says Austria can make things interesting by finding the net against a weakened Three Lions defence.
England begin Euro 2020 prep
Here we go! No sooner have we wrapped up the domestic season then we're right into the preparations for the delayed and eagerly awaited Euro 2020 tournament.
Gareth Southgate has a squad full of young talented players but now has to start fitting them into a cohesive starting XI that can justify their tag as 4/1 tournament favourites ahead of France.
With the Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea contingent given extra time to recover from the Champions League and Europa League finals, it's an opportunity for the rest to impress at the Riverside for the first of two warm-ups. England will also face Romania in Middlesbrough on Sunday.
The Three Lions haven't played Austria since a 1-0 win in Vienna in 2007, and haven't faced them at home since another 1-0 victory in a World Cup qualifier at Old Trafford in 2005.
It's not an ideal situation for Southgate due to injury concerns and having so many would-be starters missing after European involvement, but it does give him an opportunity to give players that may be back-ups some game time.
He'll still want to see some good performances against a side ranked 19 places below England, although it may be a tougher evening than you'd expect if they were at full strength.
Austria looking for first Euros win
Austria are making their third appearance in the Euros this summer, after making their tournament debut as co-hosts in 2008 and qualifying for the first time in 2016. They've failed to get out of their group so far and in fact are yet to win a game (D2 L4) in the event.
Franco Foda's side were beaten 4-0 by Denmark last time out, but are usually no pushovers after just that one defeat in the last nine, while in friendlies they're particularly handy - winning eight of their last 10 and scoring two or more goals in seven of those victories.
It's a tough ask for Austria to claim a first win over England since 1979, but they're a more settled squad than England and can field much more a full strength side than the hosts.
England have conceded first in two of the last three home games they've played against top 25 nations, and with most of Southgate's issues being in defence, Austria will fancy their chances of at least giving them something to think about.
England big favourites - but Austria can get goals
Southgate's side are massive favourites at 1.4 with Austria 7.5 to cause what would be a huge shock. Given the unsettled nature of the England squad, though, the draw at 4.5 most certainly comes into play.
Southgate's possible first-choice back four or even five will all be missing so that makes Austria worth a look at 3.75 to score first, given England's recent run against the better sides at home.
'Das Team' have scored in 10 of their last 11 overall and eight of their last 10 away from home, but haven't kept a clean sheet against England in the last 14 fixtures.
England have been ruthless in recent friendlies, winning their last six in a row when scoring 14 goals - both teams to score here is the outsider at 2.1 but has a serious chance given the enforced England changes.
DCL can keep up his England record
Performances are more important than results in pre-tournament warm-ups, but that doesn't mean the players won't want to impress.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has already done that with four goals in seven England caps, including two in recent friendlies, giving him an average of a goal every 73 minutes for his country so far.
He's 1.8 to score anytime but also is a good shout for last goalscorer at 3.5 given he's unlikely to start but likely to get on at some point.
Stuttgart's Sasa Kalajdzic has three in three for Austria and is 5.0 to breach the England defence on Wednesday night.
Jadon Sancho is another man to expect a big game from and the price that stands out here is the 4.33 on offer for the Dortmund winger to offer up an assist for an England goal.
The Three Lions have scored two or more in 12 of their last 13 home games so carry plenty of goal threat, and Sancho is an expert provider.
He's bagged five assists in 18 games for England, and totalled 20 in 38 games for Dortmund this season. He can create another one on Wednesday at a big price.
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